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How a Surviving Spouse or Child Can Apply for VA Benefits Using the VA 21-534

VA Form 21 534: Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Death Pension and Accrued Benefits by a Surviving Spouse or Child

It is not uncommon that a deceased veteran may not have had an opportunity to receive all benefits due to him, including a pension, SSA benefits, and equivalent payments. For this reason, the Department of Veteran Affairs has created a procedure for the deceased veteran’s immediate family members to receive what was meant for their relative. The form that must be filed in order to claim the desire to obtain the pension is VA Form 21 534, otherwise know as the Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), Death Pension and Accrued Benefits by a Surviving Spouse or Child (Including Death Compensation if Applicable). In this blog post we will help you figure out how and when to fill out Application VA 21-534.

Who needs a VA Form 21 534?

An applicant uses the VA 21-534 form to apply for 1) VA benefits they may be entitled to receive as a surviving spouse or child of a deceased veteran; 2) any money the VA owed the veteran but did not pay before the veteran’s death (accrued benefits).

What is the VA Form 21 534 for?

This form provides the relevant authorities with information whether an applicant is eligible for a pension or can be subject to indemnity compensation.
A person can be a subject for dependency and indemnity compensation when:

  1. a soldier was killed while carrying out his military duties;
  2.  a soldier died from a disability related to military service;
  3. in certain circumstances if a veteran is rated totally disabled from a service-connected disability and dies from a non-service-connected conditions.

In turn, a death pension may be payable when:

  1. the death of a veteran with war-time service is not due to service, and
  2. the income is within applicable limits.

The amount accrued by the VA’s pension is determined by the quantity of family income and number of children in the family.

Is the VA Form 21 534 accompanied by other forms?

Submission of the VA 21-534 form may be accompanied by an attached SSA-24 form. This form can help you to apply for Social Security benefits if you want the VA to do this for you. Also, you need to attach a copy of the death certificate unless the veteran died in active service.

When is VA Form 21 534 due?

This form must be filed within one year after the soldier’s death. The compensation or pension will be calculated from the date when this form was submitted.

How do I fill out VA Form 21 534?

You must provide the Department of Veterans Affairs with information about why you are applying and what you and the deceased veteran have applied for. Also, you must furnish detailed information about the veteran’s active duty service, your and veteran’s marriages, unmarried children of the veteran, net worth and income of you and your dependents, etc.

Where do I send VA Form 21 534?

The completed form should be directed to the nearest Department of Veterans Affairs office.